Intimacy and the Roar: talking with Jack And Sally

Hi and thank you for sparing time to chat with us.

Could you first introduce yourself/the band and tell us how it came to be?

Prav-Like Fez from That 70s Show, I was given the name Prav by the band and yes, like Fez I am also an International student. I moved to London to play Rock ‘n Roll and met Ben and Josh in the winter of 2018. We formed the band shortly after.

Josh -I’m Josh, I’m play guitar for the band. I was originally going to join Ben’s old band but before I could, they fell apart! I went ahead and met Ben anyway, and we eventually found Prav from the musicians network group and as they say, the rest is history.

How would you define not only your sound but the creative character of the band?

Prav -The sound is probably best described as Green Day meets Rise Against. If the band had an alter ego, it would be a boy/girl in their early 20s who are at a critical point in their life. He/she would be experiencing feelings of love and loss, discovering how messed up and complex the modern world is and also finding their own passion for the good and genuine things in life.

Ben –Like Prav said, our song writing revolves around issues in real-life that regular people deal with on a regular basis –and just like everyone else, we do too.

Josh -Creatively I think we draw from a lot of disparate places but it blends well. I listen to a lot of harder stuff and I bring that into the songs we write. Ben’s vocals are mainstream sounding but he writes them into punk riffs, and Prav brings in his influences from grunge and hard rock into the drums.

You touched on previous musical experiences for band members, would you elaborate and suggest how have they been embraced in what you do now?

Prav -I used to play in a Funk Rock band back in India and played with another Hard Rock act in London for just over a year. I would definitely say that those experiences shaped what I play now for Jack and Sally.

Ben –I’ve played in bands in college. I was in a band in 2009 that was called Aisle Riot –we played one gig but my time in that band had a major influence on my life and showed me that I could be in a band –that I could actually do it.

Josh -I’ve been in bands since school but my last serious band was at university -Chance Encounter. We tracked a few songs, it was a pretty fun experience especially it was my first few times ever playing live in the U.K.

Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?

Prav-Ben or I write a song and bring it to the studio where we then fiddle around with our parts and start adding in ideas. Slowly but surely, the song starts taking shape as each of our styles pour in. Once we feel confident that this is how we want our audiences to listen to the song, we make a demo.

Ben -I write lyrics first, based on ideas I have in my head. The idea for our second single Macy came to me when I was on a train in Finland -from a graffiti image sprayed on a wall. It actually took me 6 years to write Tomorrow’s Revolution! Based on my influences in life, I’ve carried a lot of anger –and all of that inspired me write about a whole new world -that world is called ‘Nevernia’ –it’s what the EP is based around. Once I have finished writing the lyrics to a song, I’ll put some basic chords around it and then take it to the studio to work on, like Prav said.

Josh -We continually fiddle with our songs as well to improve it for live situations –Tomorrow’s Revolution for example sounds much different today than when we originally played it live, and it’s much better (in my opinion at least!)

Would you tell us about your latest release?

Ben –Our latest release is our EP, Who We Become!

Josh -It’s out everywhere to stream and buy from 11th November. We’ve also released two music videos for the singles on it, so check it out!

What are the major inspirations to its heart and themes?

Ben –Our EP is based on a concept, which follows the life of its protagonist ‘Macy’ who has grown up into a world plagued by issues like racism, corporate greed, austerity and oppression. It deals with how Macy stands up to these issues of modern day society.

I am always intrigued as to how artists choose track order on albums and EP’s and whether in hindsight they would change that. What has been the deciding factor for you?

Prav -The EP’s track order follows Macy’s journey. Superstar is her Father’s message to her that she doesn’t have to try too hard to make the world see that she is good. Nevernia is essentially a metaphor to describe the messed up world we live in and how Macy tries to traverse it. Tomorrow’s Revolution is about Macy’s rebellion after she realises that she needs to take drastic measures to bring about change. Long Way Home is about her feeling homesick and how she longs to go back to the people she loves. Macy is ultimately the story of how Macy’s loved ones mourn her loss.

What do you find the most enjoyable part of being in a band and similarly the most cathartic?

Prav -playing original songs that we made from the ground up on stage, touring and when people come and tell you that they had a sick time watching us play.

Ben –Being able to play our songs to people that they sing back at us is one of the most underrated achievements anyone could ever have. It’s beautiful, and seeing people believe in words that I wrote in my bedroom is truly unreal.

Josh -I’ll never get used to hearing people say they like our songs, but it’s definitely one of the best things about being in a band. Playing shows live as well -the adrenaline rush is unreal.

For anyone contemplating checking you out live give some teasers as to what they can expect.

Prav-thumping grooves, sick riffs and yes, be ready to sing with us!

Ben –We are loud, yes we are Pop Rock to the core, but you will hear Metal, you will hear Punk Rock and you will also want to dance to our tracks.

Josh -Riffs, solos, and some meaningful lyrics.

What has been your most thrilling moment on stage to date?

Prav -Probably at The Cavern, Exeter a few weeks ago. The place seemed so packed all of a sudden when we played All The Small Things. We couldn’t believe our eyes!

Josh -Yeah I’d agree with Prav -the Cavern show was mental.

Do you have live dates coming up?

Ben –We do, yes. We are booking our tour for April 2020, and some shows have already been confirmed.

What else can we expect in the near future?

Prav -More releases, probably some collaborations with other artists as well.

Ben –Definitely new music, but for now we’re focussing on our debut EP and getting a tour or two together.

What are the major inspirations to you sound wise and as a musician?

Prav -Green Day’s American Idiot, Audioslave, Velvet Revolver and Switchfoot.

Ben –Green Day is my favourite band, Linkin Park and Nirvana.

Josh -Soundwise -Blink-182, Paramore. Musician wise -Metallica, Enter Shikari.

And finally what song or release would you say was the spark to your passion for music?

Prav -Superunknown (Soundgarden)

Ben –Jesus of Suburbia (Green Day)

Josh -Master of Puppets (Metallica)

Many thanks guys once again!

Check out the review of Who We Become @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2019/10/09/jack-sally-who-we-become/

 

https://www.jackandsally.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/jackandsallyuk   https://twitter.com/jackandsallyuk

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 12/12/2019

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

The Sums – Better

Another band who found themselves caught up and severely losing out in the collapse of Pledge Music, The Sums persevered with the recording and release of their new album, Better, to bless the year with one of its finest and most irresistible collection of rock/pop songs.

It has been a tough time since their last album for the UK outfit, the death of lead guitarist Lee Watson hitting band mates, fans and indeed music hard but using his memory and enduring inspiration the Liverpool quartet forged ahead with long-time friend in guitarist Richy Northcote joining up with vocalist/guitarist Peter ‘Digsy’ Deary, bassist/vocalist Chris Mullin, and drummer Chris Campbell. As mentioned Better had its own trials and tribulations to face but has just been unveiled to light up ears and spirit with almost mischievous intent.

The album opens up with Kick Da Bucket, a rousing slice of rock ‘n’ roll with an edge to its voice and virulent groove to its character. With Digsy like a carny barker in the midst of its melodic carnival, hooks and melodies bring an enslaving swing to the song as rhythms dance and prey on a swiftly subservient appetite for its eager stomp. The track is superb but only a sign of things to come as Better unravels its web of enterprise, variety, and adventure.

Here To Stay is next up and immediately shares its own seductive melody to hook just as quick attention. Its gentle but assured swing is pure summer glee but as ever there is that shadow in word and tone which gives it an easily relatable grounding. Not for the last time across the release there is something akin to Hed PE meets Steely Dan to a song, a comparison which may only be heard in our ears but feels the best way to suggest the enthralling feel and presence of the infection escaping the speakers before All Messed Up brings its pop rock canter to bear on greedy ears. Already three songs in, the broad tapestry of sound and flavouring within the album is inescapable, the band providing their most diverse and fascinating release yet but it is still unmistakably The Sums in every aspect. With keys adding to its infectious weave the track joined its predecessor in hitting the spot in quick time.

The calmly thoughtful repose and serenade of Go is melancholic rapture urging people to reconnect with the world and each other, its orchestral breath and intimate touch captivating while I Run A Mile straight after provides a funk nurtured shuffle for body and voice to get eagerly involved in. Brass and keys smoulder across Mullin’s and Campbell’s rhythms, the rousing bass of the former almost sullen between the crisp swings of the latter as Digsy and Northcote spring their equally engaging prowess.

Though even after a wealth of plays, it has proven impossible to pick a favourite track but Give Me Something always figures to the fore in thoughts, the song viral in its rhythmic nagging and dirty rock ‘n’ roll breeding and simply beguiling in its pop catchy and melody rich croon. Nail us down and it would have to be the moment which brought the greatest lust but constantly challenged as shown by its immediate successor, Contraception Is Rife. With a country rock twang, the pop breathing balladry of the track is again full captivation which Nowhere Left But Home soon shares through its own distinct croon.

Better is brought to a close through firstly the glorious Cold One, it’s almost Lowry painted air enough to get the imagination weaving with the tones of Digsy and Mullin alone pleasure bound, and lastly Salt Of The Earth. The final track simply brings a smile to the face, its acoustic sway and vocal glee total captivation from which pure contagion erupts in a devilish chorus.

And that is Better, an album which brings a warm glow to the year’s cold closing weeks and confirmation that The Sums is one of Britain’s finest rock and pop bands which not enough people know about though that could and should all change now.

Better is out now through https://www.thesums.net/better-new-album-out-now/

https://www.thesums.net/   https://www.facebook.com/thesums/   https://twitter.com/thesumsmusic

Pete RingMaster 22/11/2019

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Magnapop – The Circle Is Round

Magnapop records have always been a sizzling sunspot in the pop rock galaxy and with the band’s first release in nearly a decade nothing has changed. The Circle Is Round is an unapologetically charming proposition but one with a punk growl in its lining and instinctive volatility giving it even greater drama in sound and imagination.

Released via the ever magnetic label, HHBTM Records, The Circle Is Round is the 1989 formed Atlanta-based quartet’s sixth album and the successor to 2009’s Chase Park. Majorly fertile in sound, releases, and acclaim in the mid-90s, Magnapop have embraced a lower profile over the past years since ‘reuniting’ in order to play a benefit gig for local record store, Criminal Records. That laid the seeds for the desire to write and record new material now resulting in the captivation that is The Circle Is Round.

It is fair to say that attention and appetite was immediately gripped by the album’s opening breath, the hook carrying lure of Dog on the Door instant persuasion to ears and body. Vocalist Linda Hopper’s tones prove just as swiftly enticing as crisp rhythms match the tempting of the guitar’s punk jangle; Ruthie Morris’ bait effortlessly verging on the addictive. Keys and the latter’s backing tones only added to the eager temptation with the darker grumble of Shannon Mulvaney’s bass and the senses clipping swings of drummer David McNair a matching incitement.

With a slightly calmer but no less infectious bounce Change Your Hair follows and equally had little trouble getting under the skin especially with its Buzzcocks-esque hook and warm melodic smile while A Simple Plan straight after, explores an even mellower gait whilst accentuating its inherent catchiness across a fuzz borne landscape graced with the magnetism of keys. There is a great nagging quality to it with the vocals of Hopper and Morris, as in its predecessor, contagious caresses on ears.

Super Size Me bowls in throwing its creative weight around next, its punk nurtured vitality and pop woven tenacity another moment breeding addiction before Need to Change has hips swaying and pleasure boiling with a contagion something akin to B-52’s meets Weekend meets Throwing Muses. Both tracks simply had the spirit and passions bouncing and alongside the album’s opener shared favourite track moment between them.

The raunchier rock ‘n’ roll of What Can I Do gave further food for thought on that choice, echoing the strength and undiluted temptation on offer across The Circle Is Round. As with most tracks, the coarser growl and punk irritability of rhythms and chords align perfectly, almost seductively with the melodic adventure of voice and Bruce King’s keys not forgetting the weave of melodic temptation also escaping Morris’ guitar enterprise.

Through the enchanting balladry of Rain Rain, a song with another animated gait as manipulative as the song’s emotive croon is bewitching, and the similarly buoyant and reassuring Disabled, band and album piled on more temptation to be captivated by with Rip the Wreck capping indeed eclipsing their vibrant success with its own frisky escapade cast with feral riffs and aggressively agile rhythms. The track is a riveting slice of uproarious rock ‘n’ roll but again an incitement skilfully and imaginatively tempered by the melodic and harmonic instincts within Magnapop.

The Circle Is Round is completed by a pair of previously unheard demos recorded in 1992; Leo and Pretty Awful two glorious untamed punk fuelled treats of Magnapop in its heyday. As the new album proves though, that zenith is still lingering in the creativity of the band, its songs and character deviously addictive and deliciously individual.

 The Circle Is Round is out now digitally, on CD, and on vinyl via HHBTM Records with a white vinyl deluxe addition also available@ https://www.hhbtm.com/product/magnapop-the-circle-is-round/

http://www.magnapop.com   https://www.facebook.com/magnapopband/

Pete RingMaster 15/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Jack & Sally – Who We Become

Formed in the winter of 2018, British alt rockers, Jack & Sally, are poised to badger eager attention with their debut EP, Who We Become. With a sound embracing the snarl of punk and contagion of pop to its rousing rock roar, the London based trio have already teased ears with a pair of well-received singles and it is easy to suspect they will find escalating praise with the unveiling of their next offering.

Who We Become is a concept record based around a character named Macy, an undefined figure who could be “anyone in this world” who becomes a major protagonist in “Nevernia”; a land that reflects the worst aspects of modern society.  The release opens up with Superstar, a song instantly drawing ears with its singular but potent guitar melody. Vocalist Ben Felix enriches that initial coaxing with his brooding bassline before adding his equally alluring vocals to the mix. Subsequently the gentle beginning ignites; guitarist Joshua Jacobs’s riffs and hooks casting an enticing fiery web within which the punchy beats of Pravir Ramasundaram pounce. By now metal and classic rock threads are colluding with punk and pop rock dynamics, the track merging the familiar with the adventurous and unpredictable.

It is a strong and stirring start soon eclipsed by Nevernia, a track baring its pop punk instincts and heart from its first spirited breath. Swinging rhythms and riffs burst from the speakers, the earthier tones of Felix as animated as the sounds providing the galvanic incitement around them. Again imagination and great twists add to the character and temptation of the song, moments of almost new wave like enterprise only adding to its stature and persuasion before Tomorrow’s Revolution steps forth with a more classic metal lined proposal but still with a pop infused punk ‘n’ roll breath to its rock holler.

Both tracks revel in the multi-flavoured breeding of the band’s sound, the fresh and familiar once more making a highly appealing proposition and riven by a strong vein of imagination as proven again by Long Way Home. The band’s new single, it is a more even paced encounter lit by keys and a melodic sway in music and voice, emotive flames lighting its invigorated balladry.

The EP closes with Macy, a song also coloured by emotion seeded keys, a piano bringing it into intriguing view before the song breaks into another lively slice of pop rock drama. There is something familiar about the track but an essence we have yet to define and one which only added to its contagious presence.

Who We Become easily gripped ears and attention from its first lungful of sound and endeavour; providing a great full introduction to a band which could be looking at rather rewarding horizons as they build on and evolve the release’s thoroughly enjoyable adventure.

The Who We Become EP is released November 8th through Engineer Records with new single, Long Way Home out October 11th.

https://www.jackandsally.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/jackandsallyuk   https://twitter.com/jackandsallyuk

Pete RingMaster 08/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Goodbye Mr MacKenzie – Good Deeds and Dirty Rags

Brandenburg photo by Martin Becker

Maybe like for many others, Goodbye Mr MacKenzie is a band which we did not pay enough attention to back when they were a potent part of a Scottish indie/rock scene lauded for the presence of bands such as The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Fire Engines, Simple Minds, The Waterboys, The Cocteau Twins and many others. The fair share of acclaim they earned was impossible to miss and a few familiar tracks, and more than we knew we knew it turns out, left a rich vein of pleasure in our personal musical journey. Funnily enough it was not the recent reforming of one of Scotland’s most iconic rock bands which has most strongly drawn us to the upcoming re-reissuing of their seminal album Good Deeds and Dirty Rags but the fact that one of our current favourite bands, The Filthy Tongues, consists of three of Goodbye Mr MacKenzie’s founders; that and the welcome urging of Shauna McLarnon of Canadian duo Ummagma.

Due for release this coming November and inspired by the massive success of their recent 30-year anniversary tour, Good Deeds & Dirty Rags has been re-mastered and comes with 3 additional tracks from those early years not previously included on the original edition. The band’s line-up at the time consisted of vocalist Martin Metcalfe, bassist Fin Wilson, and drummer Derek Kelly, the trio who have inflamed ears and the passions with their two albums as the aforementioned Filthy Tongues. Alongside them was guitarist John Duncan, previously of The Exploited, the future Garbage vocalist Shirley Manson, and Rona Scobie both providing keys and backing vocals. For the rest of the band’s potent history we will let you go search but there will be no finer way to set it off then through Good Deeds and Dirty Rags.

The album opens up with Open Your Arms, a track which swiftly hooks ears with its sweeping breath and magnetic jangle. Metcalfe’s vocals resonate with the expression and character which we are more familiar with within his current creative adventure as melodies, harmonies, and sharp hooks are woven into a slice of indie contagion. There is a Big Country like grandeur to the song at times and a gnarly edge to the bass which just hit a personal appetite, again something since keenly devoured with Wilson’s presence in The Filthy Tongues.

Wake It Up follows bringing a rousing roar to its composed stroll, every aspect fuelling an unapologetic catchiness which easily swept up eager attention. In some ways there is a larger than life hue to the song which reminds of The Associates but whether familiar with or new to the band through the album there is no denying Goodbye Mr Mackenzie had a distinct individuality.

The electronic hug of the especially enthralling His Masters Voice is just a big warm smile upon the ears but another track with a certain rock ‘n’ roll edge to it which erupts with vociferous voice throughout while Goodwill City is a drama soaked slice of anthemic temptation. It is a song set in climatic layers, each small but tenacious crescendo a rich incitement on spirit and involvement with its creative intrigue and emprise. One of their less familiar tracks before this release the song soon proved a firm favourite even as the riveting Candlestick Park swung its own shadow wrapped, melancholically spun seduction upon ears and imagination. The truth is the song easily matches anything on the release, its mesmeric and indeed haunting presence a siren of craft and sound.

The song, Goodbye Mr Mackenzie, is another which simply infests ears and appetite with its melodic audacity and fertile imagination. The earthy threads of guitar perfectly collude with the celestial breeze of keys and sighs of harmonies as marching rhythms firmly leave their galvanic imprint on the senses; another highlight re-introduced to ears before the band’s most famous track, The Rattler shares its masterful indie pop contagion.

Through the infectious creative animation of Dust and the glorious sonic theatre of You Generous Thing grinning pleasure only rises up, both tracks pure adventure for ears and imagination on

Goodbye Mr MacKenzie 2019 – photo by Karen Lamond

both sides of the speakers; both traits a persistent thrill across the release and echoed again within the equally superb Good Deeds. Straight away rhythmically it had us enslaved; Kelly’s agility and lures reminding of King Trigger before the rest of the band bring their own eager inventive exploits to the fascination of sound.

Good Deeds and Dirty Rags is completed by three demo tracks of Open Your Arms, Diamonds, and You Generous Thing; all from 1987 and each their own portion of thick temptation.

Though listening to the album inspires annoyance at not having embraced it well before now, it is a real treat to discover and you know what? It is not out of place or time within the current indie rock scene at all.

Good Deeds and Dirty Rags is released 2nd November via Neon Tetra Records.

https://www.facebook.com/GoodbyeMrMackenzie   https://twitter.com/gbmrmackenzie   http://www.goodbyemrmackenzie.com/

Pete RingMaster 27/09/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Miss June – Bad Luck Party

Miss June demand attention”

These words leap out at the end of the band’s biography and the fact that the likes of The Foo Fighters, Shellac, Wolf Alice, Idles and Die! Die! Die! have all grabbed New Zealand hailing Miss June as support on stage is strong evidence. Even stronger confirmation of their declaration comes with debut album, Bad Luck Party, a collection of songs impossible to ignore which make no apology in their virulent contagion and rousing insistence.

Released on the eve of their world-wide Bad Luck Party Tour, the album is a persistently boisterous and often belligerent stomp of punk rock bred, pop fuelled rock ‘n’ roll honed into eleven tracks which effortlessly captivated. To be honest the band’s sound is far richer and animated than that description suggests, each song additionally holding mischief, defiance, and energy in their hearts.

Twitch kicks the album off, a controlled squall of guitar its introduction before a swift addition of swinging beats adds to the immediate fuzz soaked temptation, the song quickly hitting its infectious stride. As the guitars of Annabel Liddell and Jun Cheul Park unite in their scuzz coated virulence, the former’s magnetic tones dance in ears, a smile accompanying every syllable shared. There is something akin to Blood Red Shoes meets Sonic Youth to the temptation exuding from the speakers though already there is no mistaking it is a proposition individual to its creators.

An attention grabbing start it is only eclipsed by the following Best Girl. From its first breath the song nags ears, its stroll more of a march on the imagination as hooks and rhythms toy with the listener. A great confrontational edge lines Liddell’s delivery, the same tone infesting the devilry of guitars and the irresistible persistent nagging of Tom Leggett’s beats courted by the similarly compelling and brooding bassline cast by Chris Marshall.

Then from one major highlight of the album to another with Two Hits which instantly dived under the skin as the rapid fire vocal exuberance of Liddell rides the boisterous roll of Leggett’s rhythms. It is the trigger to an irresistible surge of garage infested pop punk, every element an insatiable incitement finding no defence to its irreverent virulence before Anomaly calms things down with its melodic swing and seductive charm. It is a mellow breeze of sound yet carrying volatility in its breath which erupts in squalls of sonic flame and rhythmic rapacity.

Similarly Orchid shares tranquillity prone to incendiary eruptions, vocals and melodies respectful caresses on senses subsequently scorched by the track while Double Negative from its Young Marble Giants-esque post punk elegance erupts in a fire of rapacious shadows and dark moods. Though unique in their character and bodies, there is a matching beauty to both which beguiles and in the second haunts for a fascinating crepuscular seduction.

Each track within Bad Luck Party brings an individual experience amidst a web of intrigue, the predacious Enemies with its compulsive noise punk voracity and the sonically discord soaked Aquarium further rousing evidence. The latter is as psychotic as it is hungrily catchy, the guitars and vocals alone gluttonous temptation while its successor, Scorpio, with its pop loaded canter and hook ridden antics had swift subservience in its hands like a devious temptress.

The final pair of the punk rock spawned, truculence fuelled Please Waste My Time and Polio with its initial leaden crawl leading to an irritable post punk tempest simply brought further magnetic faces to the kaleidoscopic personality of Bad Luck Party. The first was an immediate infestation of ears and appetite the second a longer persuasion but both wholly compelling and thrilling proposals just as the album itself; another of the year’s true highlights.

Bad Luck Party is out now via Frenchkiss Records.

Bad Luck Party Tour Dates:

September 18th – Maze – Berlin

September 19th – Blue Shel – Cologne

September 20th – Reeperbahn Festival – Hamburg

September 23rd – Cinetol – Amsterdam

September 24th – Trix – Antwerp

September 28th – The Flapper – Birmingham

September 29th – Yes – Manchester

September 30th – Headrow House – Leeds

October 1st – Poetry Club – Glasgow

October 2nd – Sneaky Pete’s – Edinburgh

October 5th – Tiny Rebel – Cardiff

October 6th – Port Mahon – Oxford

October 7th – Rough Trade – Bristol

October 9th – Latest Music – Brighton

October 10th – The Lexington – London

October 14th – Rough Trade – Brooklyn, NY

October 15th – Once – Boston, MA

October 16th – DC9 – Washington, DC

October 17th – Kung Fu Necktie – Philadelphia, PA

October 19th – Velvet Underground – Toronto, ON

October 21st – Subterranean – Chicago, IL

October 23rd – The Basement – Nashville, TN

October 24th – The Earl – Atlanta, GA

October 27th – Bronze Peacock – Houston, TX

October 28th – Hotel Vegas – Austin, TX

November 1st – Valley Bar – Phoenix, AZ

November 2nd – Morrocan – Los Angeles, CA

November 4th – Rickshaw Stop – San Francisco, CA

http://ihatemissjune.com/   https://www.facebook.com/missjunenz/

Pete RingMaster 07/09/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Seratones – Power

 

We will admit when reading the press release for new album Power, that US outfit Seratones had set about “trading in the brash proto-punk of their critically acclaimed debut for a timeless brand of gritty soul, one that takes its cues from vintage Motown and Stax even as it flirts with modern synthesizers and experimental arrangements” we had the beginning of a sinking feeling as Get Gone was one vigorously thrilling and addictive encounter. Dipping into its successor though, we quite simply found something even more glorious and irresistible; that casual perusal becoming a rapacious devouring in swift time.

The melodic and soulful prowess of the Shreveport quintet was certainly no secret within their debut album but has just been set alight through the band’s classic inspirations for their hungrily evolving sound and second full-length. The vocals of AJ Haynes again grips attention, within Power her presence and delivery a siren drawing ears and appetite eagerly into the melodic and soulful rock ‘n’ roll of the release. She seems to hungrily relish the new direction in the band’s sound while alongside the major shift in its evolution has led to original guitarist Connor Davis leaving and guitarist Travis Stewart and keyboardist Tyran Coker enlisted to join Haynes, drummer Jesse Gabriel, and bassist Adam Davis; a union which from start to finish had the body grooving and passions racing within Power.

Produced by Cage The Elephant guitarist Brad Shultz, the album instantly lays down the richest bait with the rhythmic lure of Fear, the opener an enticing prowl before slipping into a rapacious stroll with melodic crystals breaking upon its immediate contagion. Haynes just as quickly embraces eager ears with her seductive lures, the tapestry of sixties temptation inciting swinging hips and feet to be as boisterous as the appetite for the song’s sweltering temptation. The first irresistible moment of the release, the song sets the tone and adventure of Power whilst hinting at its diverse web of temptation.

The throaty lure of Davis’ bass is just as manipulative within the album’s following title track, with the animation of Gabriel’s beats rousing an eager canter awash with the caresses of Coker’s keys. Instincts again are quickly sparked by the song, the body bouncing to its enthused energy and movement as vocals and melodies rise with matching persuasion and shimmering heat. If the first track had the listener physically doing its bidding, its successor is pure slavery with creative devilment roaring with a blend of The Crystals bred pop and the power soul of Chantal Claret (Morning wood) and living up to its name in strength, roar, and heart.

Heart Attack follows with a just as enslaving sound and character, Haynes alluring voice an immediate persuasion amongst oriental spiced melodic teasing before another insatiable surge of pop ‘n’ soul flavoured rock ‘n’ roll breaks out. There is a relatively more controlled urgency to its stride compared to those before it even with the hint of power pop insistency with the keys a beguiling shimmer of intimation, one which effortlessly seduced before Lie To My Face brings its own individual temptation and presence forward. It too found no resistance to its slow compelling saunter and heated melodies as subtle but piercing hooks line voice and sound with inescapable resourcefulness.

An echo of the band’s earlier proto-punk styled sound sizzles within next up Gotta Get To Know Ya, lurking around even as the track erupts with spiky R&B revelry. The song’s funk swing gets under the skin within a host of further seconds; its pop instincts just as vocal within the punk breath escaping its lungs while Over You deviously provoked and received full involvement with a seduction akin to a fusion of Aretha Franklin and Mari Wilson.

The array of flavours within the core funk/soul heart of Power is as tantalising as its songs, a gospel-esque undertone to the tantalising croon of Permission with the following Sad Boi bringing a more eighties spiced electronic pop ‘n’ roll to tease and tempt adding to its wealth. Both songs beguiled as they aroused though each are slightly eclipsed by the rapturous enterprise of Who Are You Now, a slice of irresistibility with a great Asa feel to it.

Power is brought to a close by the heart bred magnetism of Crossfire, the rich prowess and call of Haynes’ vocals hugged by the intimacy of keys as dark hues resonate; it all building up to a fire of creative drama for one spellbinding end to a simply magnificent release.

Seratones has taken a bold step with their sound and we can only say we have all been blessed as one of the year’s most essential moments has been born.

Power is out now through New West Records; available @ https://seratones.bandcamp.com/album/power

http://www.seratones.band/   https://www.facebook.com/seratonesofficial   https://twitter.com/Seratones

Pete RingMaster 05/09/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright